This morning was nice and sunny, so we decided to venture out and try the public transportation system. We had a few things we wanted to get, so we asked at the front desk about what shopping center we should go to. She said the Multiplaza Mall was the best and gave us directions on where to catch the bus that would take us there.
We walked about 6-8 blocks to a park and there was a bus stop on the far side. Which bus? Good question. The front desk clerk really hadn’t been specific. We watched a few buses go by and when we saw one that said “Multiplaza,” we hopped on. The cost was 370 colones (local currency) each. That’s about 70 cents USD. We rode along for probably about 20 minutes or so and sure enough, the bus arrived at the Multiplaza. The picture to the right doesn’t look very impressive but once you are inside you realize this place is HUGE! Part of the mall is 3 levels high and we wandered around for quite a while and still didn’t see all of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything we were looking for. We wanted some basic, practical things and most of the stores in this place seemed to be fashion boutiques, shoe stores and specialty food cafes. It was a very “Americanized” mall and I doubt there were many bargains to be found. We decided to get lunch and headed to the massive food court. There were 15 different food vendors – about half of them were US franchises. The picture at the top of this post shows the food court.
After lunch we walked out of the mall and hoofed it over to the PriceSmart store, about a quarter mile away. This is a membership warehouse store, very similar to Costco (I think it may be owned by Costco). The membership representative let us wander around the store but said we’d need a membership to buy anything. We didn’t find anything we needed, so we walked outside and found a bus stop – hoping to find a bus to take us back to our side of the city. We got on the same bus that took us out but discovered it went to downtown San Jose, where everyone got off. The driver made it clear that we were to do the same. Fortunately, we had a small map from the hotel and we figured out we were quite a ways from our hotel. We decided to walk anyway. We navigated the streets and neighborhoods and arrived back at our hotel after about a brisk 20-25 minute walk. Whew!
We came back empty-handed but still felt like we had accomplished something.